Applied Bodybuilding Research - 10-14-08!

Learn more from these studies about exercise inflammation, genetics, acne and more. Check them out.

Article Summary:
  • Consistent exercise can lead to overall reductions of inflammation.
  • People who don't exercise are more likely to become diabetic.
  • More than 1 billion people are deficient in alpha-actinin-3 protein.
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    Is Exercise Anti-Inflammatory?
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    It's well known that a hard workout increases oxidant levels and that the breakdown of muscle fuels changes intramuscular pH levels, triggers acidosis and initiates the inflammatory cascade and the secretion of pro-inflammatory chemicals. Now, there's emerging research that suggests that exercise actually decreases inflammation by exerting anti-inflammatory effects.

    Scientists at Purdue University and the University of Houston had trained volunteers submit blood samples to be tested for key markers of inflammation - lipopolysacharide and its signalling receptor toll-like receptor 4 (TLR).

    Toll-Like Receptors
    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of single membrane-spanning non-catalytic receptors that recognize structurally conserved molecules derived from microbes once they have breached physical barriers such as the skin or intestinal tract mucosa, and activate immune cell responses. They are believed to play a key role in the innate immune system.

    After analyzing the blood samples and reviewing the existing research on exercise and inflammation across a wide variety of populations (old, young, trained and untrained males and females) researchers found that while TLR is highest in older people and those who don't exercise, it can be decreased by consistent exercise of an appropriate duration.

    TLR
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    TLR Can Be Decreased By Consistent
    Exercise Of An Appropriate Duration.

    So, it appears that although exercise does indeed generate oxidants and trigger the inflammatory cascade, consistent exercise can lead to overall reductions of inflammation compared to people who don't exercise.

    Source:

    1. FLYNN, M.G., et al. Toll-Like Receptor 4: Link to the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Exercise? Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 176 Y 181, 2006.

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    Exercise And Disease - More Evidence
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    There's already a mountain of evidence that working out consistently is, by far, the best and most efficient way to stay healthy and to be disease free - all the way from youth until old age.

    There's also a mountain of evidence that one of the best ways to get sick, have chronic health problems and diseases, and to die early, is to be physically inactive. So the obvious question is: why don't more people work out regularly?

    As if to underscore what bodybuilders have known for years, yet another study has been done that highlights and proves the incredible power of working out.

    The study, the result of a collaboration between scientists from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and Human Performance Laboratory, East Carolina University and the Duke Center for Living, Duke University Medical Center, examined data from a massive research project called Studies Targeting Risk Reduction Interventions through Defined Exercise (STRRIDE).

    Upon reviewing the data, scientists found that the cost of being sedentary was high - a greater risk for dying early, for getting cardiovascular disease, and a greater chance of getting all types of cancer.

    Additionally, researchers found that people who don't exercise are more likely to become diabetic, to have high blood pressure, to experience metabolic dysfunction, and to gain high amounts of harmful body fat.

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    But while all of these effects are serious and have been known for years, the most shocking part of the study was that people who don't exercise start to experience significant metabolic problems within just 6 months of being inactive.

    So here is yet another study that proves that bodybuilders have it right - failure to exercise and workout consistently long-term will lead to the rapid onset of chronic disease. So get lifting and stay healthy!

    Source:

    1. SLENTZ, C.A., et al. Modest Exercise Prevents the Progressive Disease Associated with Physical Inactivity. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 18Y23, 2007.

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    Your Genetics...
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    It's no secret: your genetics are both your friend and enemy. While your genes let you lift big so that you can constantly push your strength through the roof and your muscle growth to greater heights, your genetics also limit you and create an "upper limit" on just how strong and how big you can ultimately get. Your genes are a double-edged sword.

    Now, scientists have unlocked more of the genetic code and have discovered gene R577X - a variation of the gene ACTN3 - that causes fast-twitch muscle fibres to be deficient in a protein alpha-actinin-3.

    Genetics
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Genetics Create An "Upper Limit" On Just How
    Strong And How Big You Can Ultimately Get.

    According to statistics, more than 1 billion people around the World are deficient in alpha-actinin-3 protein, and this is believed responsible for being able to reach super athlete status, complete with the potential ability to develop strength and muscle mass far in excess of normal levels. This potential, of course, requires proper training.

    This study is yet more evidence of the power of genetics, and given that the odds of having this particular genetic variation are 1/7, chances are good that the majority of bodybuilders fall into the group of people who lack this specific protein. For those so-called "hard gainers", the presence of this protein may provide a partial explanation as to why making gains is so difficult.

    Of course, with genetic testing becoming cheaper every year, it's a good idea for all bodybuilders to be tested for the presence of this protein. Because while nothing replaces the value of hard work, genetic testing may provide a good direction for those with or without this protein, and allow for smart work based on genetics instead of hope or luck.

    Source:

    1. MACARTHUR, D.G., et al. ACTN3: A Genetic Influence on Muscle Function and Athletic Performance. Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev., Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 30Y34, 2007.

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    Bodybuilding And Acne
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    A lot of bodybuilders have acne - and this is especially true for younger bodybuilders. While younger bodybuilders are already at risk of acne because of hormone fluctuations, training simply amplifies these fluctuations, potentially making the problem worse.

    The medicine Acutane is the standard medical treatment for treating acne, but this medicine has, in recent years, been the subject of controversy - because many who take it report having suicidal thoughts, and the use of the medicine has even led to some suicides.

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    A new study on acne and hormones aimed to study the hormonal effects of a low-glycemic index diet and any potential effects on the prevalence and severity of acne in people suffering from the condition. This study is interesting because most of the foods that bodybuilders eat to build muscle and stay lean are, in fact, low-glycemic.

    To test the effects of a low-glycemic diet on acne, researchers had study participants divided into two groups. Group one had 7 people consume a low glycemic diet, with a breakdown of 25% protein and 45% carbohydrates. Group 2 had 5 people consume a high glycemic load diet, with a breakdown of 15% protein and 55% carbohydrates.

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    Does A Low-Glycemic Diet Give You Acne?

    Yes
    No

    Researchers analyzed the insulin resistance, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and free androgen index (FAI) and IGF-1 levels in all participants and found that a week into the study there were significant hormonal differences between the two groups and found that high glycemic index load diets do, in fact, promote acne.

    So, a word to the wise: here is more evidence that bodybuilders have it right. By eating a low-glycemic diet that consists of clean and unprocessed whole foods, you can not only maximize your anabolic hormone levels and build muscle while staying lean, but you can also prevent or minimize getting embarrassing acne that distracts attention from where it belongs: your physique.

    Source:

    1. Robyn Smith, et al. A pilot study to determine the short-term effects of a low glycemic load diet on hormonal markers of acne: A nonrandomized, parallel, controlled feeding trial. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2008, 52, 718 - 726.

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